NC State is a double-digit underdog this weekend, according to the Vegas oddsmakers, and alas, the advanced metrics agree. Doom, doom I tell you! (It probably will end up bad if State again fails to force any turnovers, if I’m being honest.)
SP+ projects a 13-point winning margin for Pittsburgh on Saturday, with the Wolfpack mustering up only 17 points. Which is a totally plausible scenario, considering how good Pitt’s defense has been this season. SP+ rates that group as the fifth-best in the country so far. (NC State’s defense ranks 80th.)
On the bright side, uh, Pitt’s offense ranks just 99th in SP+ so far this season, which is worse than NC State’s (also 80th). Kenny Pickett has been decent throwing the ball, while the Pitt ground game is only averaging 143 yards per game on 3.6 per carry. The Panthers’ leading rusher, Vincent Davis, is averaging 3.7 per carry.
There’s a scenario where the Wolfpack defense keeps Pitt relatively under control while forcing a couple turnovers and making this a toss-up match in the fourth quarter. That’s what we need to be hoping for.